Bayonetta will arrive in October alongside its Wii U-exclusive sequel — Bayonetta 2. Included as a free extra in North America and available in select bundles or separately on the eShop in Europe, it'll give Nintendo gamers all of the context and lore they need before jumping into the new release.
Naturally, the Digital Foundry team at Eurogamer has had a look at the Wii U port of the original in comparison to the Xbox 360 iteration; the PS3 version barely features as it is a notoriously bad version of the game. In general the Wii U version, as should be the case, performs well; there are subtle differences in visuals and use of the hardware that, overall, seem to favour the Nintendo system's iteration.
In general, the visuals between 360 and Wii U are very close, but we did run across one minor difference. Light bloom is used extensively on Xbox 360 and this appears to have been slightly pared back on Wii U. You can observe the difference in the sky just outside the train station where the effect is much stronger on 360. In addition, white levels are clipped on Xbox 360 at points leading to an over-exposed look in certain cases. In some sequences this does give the impression of punchier, higher contrast visuals on Xbox 360 but it's ultimately not something that stands out throughout a run of play.
On the flip-side, shadow quality sees a nice boost on Wii U. The hard-edged, chunky shadows present in the original versions look much cleaner on Wii U. While the resolution isn't noticeably increased, the shadows now appear much softer and less harsh. Water reflections are also subtly different on Wii U with reflections appearing much stronger than the 360's showing.
With multi-platform titles, the Wii U has often struggled with lengthy load times but, thankfully, this isn't a problem with Bayonetta. In fact, the Wii U version of the game loads faster than the other two versions, even with the originals installed to the hard drive. Most loading sequences take between seven to eight seconds on Wii U while 360 requires a few extra seconds and PS3 lags behind that. Of course, we were only provided download codes so we could only test the game running from a USB stick. It may be interesting to see how the game fares running from a disc.
In conclusion, the assessment is that Bayonetta on Wii U is possibly the best-performing console release from Platinum Games yet, and joins a small list of high quality ports that have utilised the hardware well.
Taking the spread of games released by Platinum into account, it could be argued that the Wii U version of the original Bayonetta is the fastest-performing console game released by the studio to date, and in that sense it's a bit disappointing that the sequel fails to match the performance level set by its predecessor. While the massive increase in set-piece complexity in Bayonetta 2 is certainly exciting, it definitely comes at a cost. In that sense it almost feels like the original Bayonetta is the more finely tuned experience.
Alongside the likes of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Bayonetta stands out as one of the best ports available on the Wii U. It's clear that a lot of time and effort was poured into this release in order to preserve and in places improve upon the original experience. While it's not dramatically superior to the original Xbox 360 version, we'd have to give it the nod as the definitive version of the game. The elimination of screen-tear, faster loading, and solid performance levels make a huge difference. Whether you've played the original release or not, this is a great way to experience Bayonetta. The fact that it comes packed in with most versions of Bayonetta 2 makes it one heck of a bonus.
If you want all of the nitty gritty detail check out the full article, while you can also read the recommendation in our Bayonetta review.